By The Editor
More than a quarter of people responsible for hiring people in small and medium businesses say they head to Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to screen candidates, according to a new study.
Of those hirers, more than 40 per cent have made a decision not to hire a person based on something they’ve seen posted by that person online.
The Telstra survey of more than 1250 people gave an interesting insight into what type of online behaviour employers frowned upon when deciding who to hire.
Forty-four per cent said they would rule out a person who had posted negative comments about their workplace, 37 per cent looked poorly upon discriminatory comments and 32 per cent said they wouldn’t hire someone because of inappropriate photos or comments that contained confidential information.
Conversely, positive use of social media was often looked upon favourable by hirers – more than a third of employers have made a positive hiring decision based on an attribute they detected from a candidate’s Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter page, including:
- Demonstration of the correct skills needed for the job
- Good candidate references
- Openness toward potential employers
- Lists of awards and achievements.
Facebook profiles were most commonly checked by employers (41 per cent), even ahead of the professional networking site LinkedIn (31 per cent), with 14 per cent reviewing Twitter profiles and seven per cent checking out MySpace and YouTube.
The survey also asked about attitudes towards ongoing online relationships between employers and employees. Forty-three per cent said they would accept a Facebook friend request from an employee, and 20 per cent will proactively ‘friend’ employees.
Reasons for Facebook friendships aren’t always pure though – while 62 per cent said they became online friends with employees for purely social reasons, 18 per cent were keeping an eye out for potentially derogatory comments about the boss, while 15 per cent did it to monitor their employee’s productivity.
Along with the results of the survey, Telstra released some handy tips for those seeking to be responsible with their social networking use, including checking privacy settings, keeping your profiles current and removing any comment that has the potential to offend a friend…or potential employer.
Have you used a social networking website to screen potential employees at your business, and do you become Facebook ‘friends’ with your current employees? We’re interested in your thoughts on this research.